Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cisco C-Scape 2008 - Day 2

Well, Day 2 is done, and so is C-Scape 2008. I really enjoyed attending, and feel lucky to be part of the scaled down group that was there in person. The overall content was quite good, and Cisco really seems to be trying hard to stay close to the analysts and listen to our thoughts on their direction.

As mentioned yesterday, a lot of the focus was on how Cisco is transforming itself into a "next generation" company (am still not sure what that term means any more) rather than how they're going to change the world around them. That said, their new tag line makes it pretty clear that's the end game - "Cisco - Best in the world. Best for the world." Got that? A bit of a throwback to GM in the 1950's, but you get the idea. If all this technology carries the day, it will be Cisco's world, and we'll just be living in it. Hey, they've got $27 billion in the bank and a lot of desperate companies at their feet, so anything is possible, right?

Am being a bit facetious here, and Cisco is being every bit as careful and pragamatic as the rest of us. I found many of the sessions down to earth, and Cisco seems very conscious of getting their house in order and focused on helping their customers leverage IT to get themselves through both good times and bad. Day 2 continued the mix of sunny keynotes and hands-on breakouts about their various business lines.

What strikes me overall is the breadth of their market coverage. Having recently been at Avaya's analyst event, it was interesting to see them talk about scaling down their business focus from some 27 lines of business to 3. Cisco was talking about managing 26 priorities - i.e. growth opportunities - so they're certainly not putting all their eggs in one basket. I highly doubt many analysts in the room - if any - can possibly be up to speed on all 26 priorities, which makes Cisco a difficult company to fully understand. Maybe it's that way by design, but listening to their top execs, you come away thinking there really is a grand plan here, and it's all under control. Sure hope so.

I'll leave you with a few photos from today...

Rob Lloyd talking about Cisco 3.0 and what this means for how they will transform the relationships they have with their customers. Pretty forward-thinking ideas here, and if executed well, will serve as best practices for others to follow.


Art Hair, CTO of Disney - very interesting presentation about the realities of making movies in the digital age and how important networks are to the process. Never thought about film-making this way, and Disney really is a great showcase for Cisco in the sense that film is the most collaborative of all art forms, and collaboration is Cisco's driving mantra now.


Charles Stucki updating us during the Telepresence breakout. Did you know that Cisco is doing over 4,000 meetings a week using Telepresence? That's got to be adding up to some serious savings in travel costs.


The best for last - final session was an open-ended Q&A/fireside chat with John Chambers. I think he enjoyed this as much as we did.


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